“I think we are incredibly lucky here. We have this high standard of life, no big security problems, and I like Canadian society. I like this true openness to cultures and religions, which I think is basic to us; you don’t find it in other countries…”
Businesswoman and Founder of the
Bata Shoe Museum
Canada: One of the World’s Best Places to Live
Canada, the great western democracy that dominates half of the North American, continent is consistently ranked by the United Nations as one of the best places in the world to live.
With a population of over 37 million people, Canada has a high standard of living, a tolerant society, a vibrant economy and a vast beauty stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic to the Arctic Oceans.
A country founded by immigrants, immigration has always been pivotal to Canada’s economic success. In fact, Canada has the highest per capita rate of immigration in the world. Two million immigrants have been welcomed into Canada in the last decade alone.
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Easy Access to the World
The second largest country in the world, Canada covers six time zones, stretching from the Pacific Ocean in the west the Atlantic Ocean in the east and the Arctic Ocean in the North. To the south lies the United States, whose major cities are a short-hop air flight from ours.
The Most Welcoming Country in the World
Canada is a country founded by immigrants. Immigration has always been pivotal to Canada’s economic success. In fact, Canada has the highest per capita rate of immigration in the world. Two million immigrants were welcomed into Canada in the last decade alone, and the bright stream of peoples from around the world who chose to make a better life for themselves and their families in Canada is one of our country’s greatest assets.
Open and Tolerant
An open and tolerant society, Canada has been called the least racist country in the world. Individuals born in other countries rise to the top in every sector of Canadian society, from business to politics to the arts.
Our rich ethnic diversity is a source of pride. Whereas the United States views itself as a melting pot of world cultures, Canada considers itself a mosaic. Far from having to abandon all of the cherished ways of their homeland, immigrants are encouraged to bring the best of their cultural traditions with them and share them with their fellow citizens.
Universal Health Care
As a liberal democracy, Canada prioritizes the well-being of its citizens. Within this context, it is extremely proud of its public health care system, known as Medicare, which provides free basic health care to all Canadian residents.
Medicare is funded jointly by the federal and provincial governments, with each province administering its own health care plan in order to meet the needs of its population, which is why there are differences from province to province.
For example, the provincial Medicare plan in Québec includes partial coverage for prescription medication, whereas in British Columbia, traditional Chinese medicine and other complementary disciplines have been integrated into the plan to meet the needs of the large Asian population in that province.
Anyone who holds a Permanent Resident Visa is eligible for Medicare.
A World of Excellent Education
Canada invests in the best for its citizens at every stage of life. Schooling is free for citizens and permanent residents from kindergarten through high school. In Quebec, college-level education is also free to Quebec residents.
While tuition is charged for Canadian universities, the cost of a high-quality university education here is considerably less than in the United States. Student loans, bursaries and scholarships are available for those needing financial help.
The excellence of our universities is acknowledged worldwide. Students, including many from the USA, come from around the globe to study in Canada.
The Best Place in the World to Do Business
With the United States – the world’s largest economy and Canada’s largest trading partner – next door, we believe that Canada is the best place in the world to do business.
Since the signing of the US-Canada free trade agreement, the world’s largest trading relationship has seen its trade figures triple. With the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which includes Mexico, we became a member of the world’s largest trading block.
Canada has always been a country strong on business, and our federal government continues to be committed to a low tax plan. There are also many government programs that provide expert and financial help to the business community.
Canada has a large, educated work force and a pro-business government. The country is rich in natural resources, abundant sources of energy and sophisticated communications and transportation networks. Immigrant entrepreneurs looking to put their skills and talents to work will find themselves surrounded by opportunity.
With less red tape and regulation than many countries in the world, business in Canada is freer to be innovative and entrepreneurial than in many other places. According to a World Bank study, business start-up times and procedures here are the quickest and easiest of any country in the G7.
In addition to the Immigrant Investor Program, our governments have enacted many laws that promote business and encourage foreign investment.
A member of the G7, Canada has a robust, highly diversified, mixed economy that has made it one of the world’s wealthiest nations. The second-largest country on Earth in terms of landmass, Canada is rich in natural resources. As a result, primary industries play a major role in our economy.
In British Columbia, forestry industries are very important. In fact, Canada is the world’s leading exporter of wood, pulp and paper products. In Alberta, the oil and gas industry is fueling an economic boom, attracting entrepreneurs from all over. Mining adds substantially to the prosperity of Ontario, which exports a wide variety of chemicals and minerals.
Abundant Fresh Water
Quebec, Canada’s biggest province, is home to Hydro-Quebec, the world’s largest hydroelectricity generating company, which powers the Quebec economy, and beyond, with its vast reservoirs of clean, renewable energy.
Our manufacturing industries are often in the business of transforming the products of nearby natural resources. They are responsible for most of our exports, and help drive our regional economies.
Cars, trucks, vehicle parts and other transportation equipment make up the largest part of our manufacturing sector. And while we trade a great deal of manufactured goods with other nations, especially the United States, trade between provinces is very strong.
Fertile Opportunities for Agriculture
A major agricultural producer and exporter, Canada also has a thriving food processing industry, producing billions of dollars of grocery products for domestic and international markets.
Strong Service Sector
As with most modern economies, however, the service sector is Canada’s most important. It is responsible for fully two-thirds of our Gross Domestic Product, and employs three-quarters of our labour force. Most service sector businesses are concentrated in and around our cities. We have a strong financial sector, a multi-billion dollar professional services sector and a thriving information economy.
World’s Soundest Banking System
The World Economic Forum has ranked Canada’s banking system as the soundest in the world, and Moody’s Investor Service named Canada first in the world for financial strength. With the greatest growth in GDP in the G7, a low inflation rate and strong currency, the country continues to have one of the most vital economies among industrialized nations. Always a very attractive destination for the immigrant investor, Canada is likely to become even more so.
A World of Democratic Values
Canada is one of the world’s great liberal democracies. Founded on the British parliamentary model, every citizen over the age of 18 has the right to vote – to have his or her say in how our country should be run. A model for the world, Canada is active in helping bring democracy and democratic values to other countries.
A Dynamic Federation
Canada is a federation made up of 10 provinces and 3 territories. As a large country with a small population and great regional differences in geography and perspective, we have developed a unique style of government based on respect for alternate views and compromise. Our three levels of elected government – federal, provincial and municipal – divide the responsibilities of governing us among them.
Human Rights Protected
Canada has an independent judiciary and laws based on a written constitution, which includes a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that takes precedence over the other laws of the land.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Every citizen and permanent resident of Canada enjoys the following rights and freedoms, among many others:
Freedom of religion, expression, peaceful assembly and association.
The right to live and work in any province.
The right to life, liberty and security of the person.
The right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.
The right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.
Every individual is equal before and under the law, regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
Welcome to the World’s Most Dynamic Cities
VANCOUVER – Gateway to the Pacific Rim
Canada’s busy gateway to the Pacific Rim and the vast markets of Asia, Vancouver is one of the world’s most beautiful and livable cities.
Home to Canada’s largest and most diversified ports, and the terminus of our transcontinental highway and rail routes, it trades with over 90 different countries. It is the economic hub of British Columbia, and one of the nation’s largest industrial centres, generating more than half of British Columbia’s GDP. The spectacular drama of its setting has made tourism a $15 billion-plus industry and spawned a large film industry, earning Vancouver the designation of Hollywood North.
CALGARY – Opportunity Boomtown
Calgary is the largest city in the province of Alberta, and the heart of the country’s fastest growing economic region.
Endowed with the highest personal income in Canada, Calgary is a thriving metropolis with a strong entrepreneurial core. A major centre for the global energy industry, it also has the country’s lowest taxes. With its close proximity to the sports playground of the spectacular Canadian Rockies, it is an exceptional city in which both businesses and families can prosper and thrive.
TORONTO – City in the Fast Lane
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, and a vibrant driver of the Canadian economy. With more than 100,000 companies, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is Canada’s business and manufacturing capital. Its remarkably diverse economy creates almost unlimited entrepreneurial opportunities.
Situated on the shores of Lake Ontario, the GTA stretches out over approximately 7, 000 square kilometers that incorporate farmland, forests and large protected areas. This allows it to benefit from one of the world’s lowest urban population densities. The city is consistently rated as one of the world’s most livable,* as well as one of the most business-friendly.
* Economist Intelligence Unit
MONTREAL – European Style, North American Energy
Montreal is a major port and the major city in Canada’s largest province of Quebec.
While known internationally as a French-speaking city, it is home to almost 400,000 English speakers. Strategically situated a short drive from the US border on the Saint Lawrence River, astounding economic upswing is based primarily on the emergence of a thriving knowledge economy. Montreal is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city famed for its quality of life, its tolerant, pleasure-loving populace and its openness to new ventures.